WHILE Jamaicans continue to revel in the triumph of the Reggae Boyz in their match against Antigua & Barbuda, three Jamaican youngsters are now celebrating their own football success.
Shane Sterling, Duhaney Williams and Ricardo Dennis departed for Barbados yesterday for possibly the biggest opportunity of their young careers — a chance to train with coaches from English Premier League outfit Chelsea FC.
In August of this year, several young footballers from the secondary schoolboy football programme attended the Jamaican leg of the Digicel Kick Start Clinics. These youngsters emphatically put their talents on display for head coach of the Clinics, Liverpool football legend John Barnes.
After a rigorous, yet impressive two-day session, Barnes chose Sterling, Williams and Dennis as the contingent to represent Jamaica at the Digicel Kick-Start Academy in Barbados.
Tahnida Nunes, sponsorship manager, was also impressed with the boys.
"The boys have demonstrated the ability to persevere under scrutiny, and this in itself is impressive. It could not be easy to be composed in the presence of a legendary football star like John Barnes, let alone excel under his scrutiny, and for that Digicel applauds the boys," she said.
She added: "Digicel is about helping our customers to experience the extraordinary and this opportunity for the boys to learn from some of the world's best coaches is one that we hope they will cherish and appreciate for years to come."
Duhaney Williams, a 14-year-old Denbigh High student, is ecstatic to attend the Academy for more reasons than one. Other than being a Chelsea fan, Williams said that "I am excited to work with coaches from Chelsea because I know that at the end of the Academy I will learn a lot of techniques and skills to improve on my capabilities." Williams added that later on in his career he would love to represent Chelsea on the international scene.
Fifteen-year-old Glenmuir High midfielder, Ricardo Dennis is equally excited about participating in the clinics. Dennis said: "This experience will give me a lot of exposure and make me a better footballer. I believe that hard work pays off and I am going to do my best."
The Digicel Kick-Start Academy starts on October 29 and will come to an end on November 4.